Leading article: It's all in the name

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The Independent Online

There'll be trouble west of the Tamar if this goes on. First we took away their language, though it was also the fault of that 18th-century fishwife Dolly Pentreath, the woman who "last gabber'd Cornish", one cruel wit said, and who signally failed to pass her Celtic tongue to her neighbours.

Then the symbol of the county, the Cornish Chough, went the same way (though a few of these birds have been recently introduced). Now the threat of extinction hangs over a third precious symbol of identity - over the steaming crust of the Cornish Pasty, or Pastee, as some say.

The culprit? Step forward Dr Todd Gray, who claims firstly that he has uncovered the oldest known recipe for the pie, dating from 1510, and secondly, that it doesn't come from Cornwall at all but from rival, despised Devon. Well, some may laugh. "What's in a name?", they will chuckle. Devonian pasty, Cornish pasty, same difference. No doubt unkind spirits will make jokes about what some feel is the pasty's indigestible characteristics.

Beware. The Cornish are made of tougher mettle than people think. Push them too hard and anything may happen. Archbishop Cranmer found that out to his cost in 1549, when the county rose in ferocious revolt against the introduction of his English prayer book.

James II felt their hot breath on his coattails when he arrested the Cornish Bishop Trelawney and the county rose again, to the cry of: "And shall Trelawney die! And shall Trelawney die! There's 20,000 Cornish lads will know the reason why." If the pasty dispute triggers a similar reaction, don't say you weren't warned. You heard it here first.

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